Thursday, December 29, 2005

and so the spinning adventure begins!

This is a blog entry for Leah, age 7, who was also hard at work before Christmas in her own little elfin workshop. She knit a slit scarf for her great grandma, GiGi, from the "yarn-that-looks-like-a-party," which was a gift from Aunt Vickie.

She also made many crocheted dishcloths. We lost track of how many, but probably more than 20. The ones she gave to me are shown here. We've been using this kind of dishcloths for years and are always happy to have a new stash of them!

And many of you know that Leah received an Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel for Christmas. She is out of her mind with excitement about this. We're learning how to spin together, with my only advantage being watching spinners at a couple of hours of meetings and getting about an hour of practice in to familiarize myself with her wheel before Christmas. This paid off big-time because I had a basic understanding of what to do and was able to help her get a feel for it quickly. The kind folks at Nutmeg Spinners Guild recommended Corriedale as a good beginner wool for spinning, so I bought 4 ounces. We had a small partial bobbin of crazy messed up "spinning" from all of us (Jesse and Scott too!) giving it the first try on Christmas day, but a couple of days ago we put a new bobbin on, focused on the Corriedale, and Leah spun it all! By the end, she was beginning to get a feel for how fine she could go, recognize when she had too much or not enough twist (and sometimes correct this), and control her speed.

Yesterday evening we sat together and worked with some dyed Romney that I got at New York Sheep and Wool Festival. This was quite tight, almost like it was a little bit felted, so much drafting was required, but ooh, the fun of seeing how the different colors spin up!

We just might move on to the merino stash today, after finishing the Romney.

Awesome discovery: I got 7 fleeces for free from a Freecycle offer a year or so ago. Figured eventually they'd have a purpose and yesterday was when it was discovered. Scott scoured a grocery bag-full, Jesse and Leah flicked and carded it, and we discovered that it has a fairly long staple length, plenty long enough for beginning spinners to handle! And we have LOTS of it! Already there is much talk of dyeing and the handspun, handpainted, handknit gifties that are sure to come!

Between the fibery glee, the Lego Mindstorms invention-fest, the new acoustic guitar strumming, and the new-to-us world of MP3 history/science/art/fiction downloads, we all feel like we just burst through to a new and exciting phase of our lives!


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